Performative events, drawings, objects, 2014–
Drawings pictured, in order of appearance, and session location:
Tom Knechtel (Art Center), 2014
Rebecca Campbell (UCLA), 2015
Lynn Hanson (UCLA), 2015
Raffi Kalenderian (CalArts), 2015
Nancy Nimoy (Art Center), 2014
Nery Gabriel Lemus (CalArts), 2015
Alexandra Wiesenfeld (OTIS), 2014
Allen Brewer (CalArts), 2015
Holly Topping (Art Center), 2014
Mara Lonner (Art Center), 2014
Christopher Chinn (OTIS), 2014
Margaret Lazzari (USC), 2014
Hilja Keading (CalArts), 2015
Phung Huynh (OTIS), 2014
Tom Lawson (CalArts), 2015
F. Scott Hess (UCLA), 2015
Life, Drawing is a multipart project that considers representations of the breast through the convention of life drawing and through process as material. The initial project consists of five intimate life drawing sessions in which Silton performed as the model. Each four-hour session (conducted between August, 2014 and March 2015) hosted 10-12 invited Los Angeles based artists. Sessions were held in Los Angeles-based academic studios (CalArts, UCLA, USC, Art Center, and OTIS), with one or two students from each institution also invited. Silton was costumed from the waist down, foregrounding a breastless torso in the wake of a double mastectomy she’d undergone in 2011. Each invited artist was asked to contribute one drawing to the project. Among other questions the project poses about subjectivity, the gaze, and otherness, Life, Drawing considers the lesbian queer but non-trans body without breasts.
Costumes were designed especially for the project by LA-based fashion designer Shpetim Zero, and refer to both male- and female-specific garments (corset, gaucho pants, crinoline, loincloth, etc). Additionally, the garments were all created in striped fabric, an intended reference to Silton’s ongoing Stripe Project (2005-), which examines the stripe’s curious origins as a marker of otherness in the Middle Ages, when stripes were worn by society’s outcasts.
The drawings generated by the sessions form an artistic nucleus, an already-becoming, a sequence of gestures and their subjective traces. Other object-based works are planned, but within the various possible arrangements the initial performative project sets up (artist as model, artists as performers, artists as artists, performers as artists), there exists an understanding that each session is a mutually vulnerable and open-ended process, as fluid as the gestures and the body itself.